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Hunter Education

Successful completion of a Firearm Hunter Education course is required for all Nebraska hunters age 12 through 29 who hunt any species with a firearm or air gun. Additionally, Bowhunter Education is required for all Nebraska hunters age 12 through 29 who hunt deer, elk, antelope or mountain sheep with bow and arrow or crossbow.

Hunters must carry proof of successful completion of a hunter education course while hunting. Proof may be in the form of a valid permit containing the hunters’ Firearm Hunter Education or Bowhunter Education number, or a Hunter Education card or certificate issued by a recognized state or provincial agency.

Hunters of any age, whether required to or not, are welcome and encouraged to take a hunter education course to become familiar with the principles of hunter safety.

Hunters younger than the age of 12 who have not yet completed a hunter education course must be accompanied by licensed hunter age 19 or older. If the accompanying hunter is 19 to 29 years old, he or she must have completed hunter education and carry proof of successful completion while hunting.

View the hunter requirements chart for more information on required education, permits and stamps.

Certification options

The following options are available for the noted age groups:

Age 10 and under

Hunters younger than the age of 12 who have not yet completed a hunter education course must be accompanied by a licensed hunter age 19 or older. If the accompanying hunter is 19 to 29 years old, he or she must have completed education and carry proof of successful completion while hunting.

Age 11 to 15

Students 11 to 15 years old may obtain their hunter education certificates through a minimum 10-hour classroom course or an online course followed by a two-hour Hunt Safe Session.

Traditional classroom courses

Traditional classroom courses are a minimum of 10-hours of instruction and demonstration focused on safe firearm use and/or archery equipment use, shooting and sighting techniques, hunter ethics, game identification, and conservation management, followed by a multiple choice test. A score of 85% or better must be achieved on the test to receive a Hunter Education certificate. Classroom courses are offered state-wide, free of charge.

*Some instructors may offer dual classes covering both Firearm Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education. Students who register for dual classes must attend all sessions regardless of any hunter education certificates they may have obtained previously.

Online courses and Hunt Safe Sessions

In 2015, Nebraska Game and Parks began offering a new online course option. The online courses are designed to be completed over a period of six to eight hours, allowing students to work at their own pace. There is no time limit for completing the course. Game and Parks recommends that students age 11 to 15 complete the course with the assistance of a parent. Students age 11 to 15 years old who successfully complete the online course must also complete a Hunt Safe Session.

The Hunt Safe Session is a two-hour review focusing on equipment safety for both firearms and archery, tree stand safety and shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. A vendor fee will be charged for each online course and is requested at the time of course completion. Hunt Safe Sessions are offered state-wide, free of charge.

*Hunt Safe Sessions cover both firearm and archery equipment safety in on session. Therefore, a student may obtain both a Firearm Hunter Education certificate and a Bowhunter Education certificate by attending one Hunt Safe Session if they complete both online courses. Students cannot register for a Hunt Safe Session until they have successfully completed either one or both online courses.

If there are no scheduled classes in your area you may signup to receive a notification of the next class advertised in your community.

Age 16 to 29

Students 16 to 29 years old may obtain their hunter education certificates through a minimum 10-hour classroom course or an online course. Attending a Hunt Safe Session after completing an online course is optional for this age group.

Traditional classroom courses

Traditional classroom courses are a minimum of 10-hours of instruction and demonstration focused on safe firearm use and/or archery equipment use, shooting and sighting techniques, hunter ethics, game identification, and conservation management, followed by a multiple choice test. A score of 85% or better must be achieved on the test to receive a Hunter Education certificate. Classroom courses are offered state-wide, free of charge.

*Some instructors may offer dual classes covering both Firearm Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education. Students who register for dual classes must attend all sessions regardless of any hunter education certificates they may have obtained previously.

Online courses and Hunt Safe Sessions

In 2015, Nebraska Game and Parks began offering a new online course option. The online courses are designed to be completed over a period of six to eight hours, allowing students to work at their own pace. Students age 16-29 years old who successfully complete an online course are welcome to attend a Hunt Safe Session, but it is not a requirement.

The Hunt Safe Session is a two-hour review focusing on equipment safety for both firearms and archery, tree stand safety and shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. Hunt Safe Sessions are offered across the state. A vendor fee will be charged for each online course and is requested at the time of course completion. Hunt Safe Sessions are offered state-wide, free of charge.

*Hunt Safe Sessions cover both firearm and archery equipment safety in one session. Therefore, a student may obtain both a Firearm Hunter Education certificate and a Bowhunter Education certificate by attending one Hunt Safe Session if they complete both online courses prior to attending the required review. Students cannot register for a Hunt Safe Session until they have successfully completed either one or both online courses.

If there are no scheduled classes in your area you may signup to receive a notification of the next class advertised in your community.

Age 30 and older

Students 30 years of age and older are not required to take Hunter Education in order to hunt in Nebraska. However, those 30 years of age or older who wish to receive Hunter Education instruction before hunting in Nebraska, or who are required to take Hunter Education in order to hunt in another state have two options:

Traditional classroom courses

Traditional classroom courses are a minimum of 10-hours of instruction and demonstration focused on safe firearm use and/or archery equipment use, shooting and sighting techniques, hunter ethics, game identification, and conservation management, followed by a multiple choice test. A score of 85% or better must be achieved on the test to receive a Hunter Education certificate. Classroom courses are offered state-wide, free of charge.

*Some instructors may offer dual classes covering both Firearm Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education. Students who register for dual classes must attend all sessions regardless of any hunter education certificates they may have obtained previously.

Online courses and optional Hunt Safe Sessions

In 2015, Nebraska Game and Parks began offering a new online course option. The online courses are designed to be completed over a period of six to eight hours, allowing students to work at their own pace. Students 30 years of age or older who successfully complete an online course are welcome to attend a Hunt Safe Session, but it is not a requirement.

The Hunt Safe Session is a two-hour review focusing on equipment safety for both firearms and archery, tree stand safety and shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. Hunt Safe Sessions are offered across the state. A vendor fee will be charged for each online course and is requested at the time of course completion. Hunt Safe Sessions are offered state-wide, free of charge.

*Hunt Safe Sessions cover both firearm and archery equipment safety in one session. Therefore, a student may obtain both a Firearm Hunter Education certificate and a Bowhunter Education certificate by attending one Hunt Safe Session if they complete both online courses prior to attending the required review. Students cannot register for a Hunt Safe Session until they have successfully completed either one or both online courses.

If there are no scheduled classes in your area you may signup to receive a notification of the next class advertised in your community.

Print your Hunter Education Certificate or Card

All Nebraska hunters age 12 through 29 must carry proof of successful completion of a Firearm Hunter Education course if they are hunting any species with a firearm or air gun. Additionally, all Nebraska hunters age 12 through 29 must carry proof of successful completion of a Bowhunter Education course while hunting deer, elk, antelope or mountain sheep with bow and arrow or crossbow.

How to print:
Replacement certificates and cards are no longer sent to students. You may print a copy of your certificate from the Buy a Permit page. Select “Hunter Ed Certificate” in the upper right hand corner of the page on the navigation bar and enter the requested information.

PrintPermitButton

If you have difficulty printing your certificate, contact Wendy Horine for assistance. You will need to provide your full name, the date and time you took the course, birth date and the last four digits of your social security number.

Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate

Anyone age 12 or older who has not completed a Firearm Hunter Education and/or Bowhunter Education course may obtain an Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate. This certificate provides novice hunters an opportunity to hunt and receive training from experienced hunters before completing a hunter education course. The certificate may be obtained once in a lifetime – it expires on December 31, and may be renewed once to complete a full year.

All hunters using this exemption certificate must be accompanied – within unaided verbal and visual communication – at all times while hunting, by a licensed hunter age 19 or older. If the accompanying hunter is 19-29 years old, he or she must have completed a hunter education course and carry proof of successful completion while hunting.

The cost of an Apprentice Hunter Education Certificate is $5. Visit our permit website to apply for your certificate.

Hunter Education volunteer instructor resources

The following resources are made available to our Hunter Education volunteer instructors.

Currently certified instructors

  • Hunter Education instructor time record
  • Kalkomey Event Manager
  • Class materials: Instructors may request materials for firearm hunter education and/or bowhunter education classes by calling the Hunter Ed Hotline at 1-800-245-5701. Leave your name, phone number, type of class, date of first class session, anticipated number of students and any requests for instructional DVD’s. Instructors conducting Hunt Safe Sessions may request patches, informational handouts, etc. We are unable to provide student manuals to instructors.

Become an instructor
Experienced hunters who are passionate about safety and sharing their love of the sport are invited to apply to become hunter education instructors. Learn more and apply using the resources below.